The classic development waterfall consists of two sequential stages. There is an ‘architectural synthesis’ stage that creates new architecture, new fundamental structure. This is followed by an ‘engineering design’ stage that develops and optimizes a system to satisfy requirements produced by the first stage. In addition, to having different goals, these two stages employ different tools, different processes, and demand different skills. Synthesis, the creation of new architecture, employs inductive reasoning, insight, and creative problem solving. Synthesis requires holistic solutions consistent with a single unified vision. As a result, the synthesis stage resists partitioning into subtasks. The synthesis of complex architectures stresses the capacity of individual architects and is best executed with Special Expert Teams (SETs). SETs are temporary task-directed teams of experts that benefit from special management tools. SETs have the capacity to conceptualize overarching concepts. This paper presents the concept of SETs for the creation of enterprise architecture.
architecture, enterprise architecture, synthesis, system, design, engineering design, system design, teams, teamwork, Special Expert Teams, SET
About the author
Dr. Alex Pavlak (PhD ME, PEl is an engineer and independent consultant. He has led several major projects that involved creating systems architecture, including a 1985 project that synthesized the architecture of an unprecedented sonar system. He offers training workshops, guest lectures, coaching and consulting services for Special Expert Teams, problem-solving, advanced teamwork, and creating systems architecture. For the past twelve years, he has been investigating the limits of expert problem solving teams. Under grants from NSF and NIMH, Dr. Pavlak has setup scientific expert teams addressing fundamental problems in basic science. Prior to 1992, Dr. Pavlak spent twenty-five years managing a wide variety of R&D projects.
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Journal of Enterprise Architecture